On Peppermint Pattie Day, I want to say “I Love You” Peppermint Pattie and lots of other fabulous 1950s candy I knew and loved during my childhood in the Mid-century. As Valentine’s Day approaches, what better way to celebrate it than with candy. Flowers, cards, and candy are the most purchased items for this special day. Pretty, chocolate-filled, heart-shaped gift boxes were a big hit on Valentine’s Day in the 1950s. Kids didn’t care about fancy candy in gift boxes as they liked buying their favorite candy bars and gum at the local store. That’s where they would have found York Peppermint Patties which were first available for sale in 1940 up until the present. Let your teeth sink into a delicious, dark chocolate covered mint York Peppermint Pattie. Yum!
My four, historical fiction chapter books, The 1950s Adventures of Pete and Carol Ann, chronicle life in the 1950s for readers 8 and up. Though I mention few candy names in the books, candy played an important and delicious role for kids of that time. And candy manufacturers still make the same candy with the same recognizable wrappers I remember! I had fun matching up individual candy and an appropriate retro valentine with each of my seasonal books. Let’s take a blast to the past on a delicious candy adventure.
Scary Spring: Our Polio Fright of 1955 starts the series in April of 1955. The two main characters Pete and Carol Ann worked to avoid getting polio shots while on an exciting adventure to solve the mystery of a precocious puppy. Pete had a sweet tooth for homemade chocolate chip cookies, so he would have loved store-bought candy, too. In Chapter 3, Downtown in the Tank, a trip into town to the drugstore would have netted Carol Ann and her sisters some candy treats. In Chapter 7, Easter, the kids would have found not only jelly beans and chocolate bunnies in their Easter baskets but a bounty of assorted candy bars and gum.
Sinister Summer: Cars, Cruisers, and Close Calls finds Pete and Carol Ann during their summer vacation in July 1955. While they traveled to fun-filled places all over Southern California, they worked at avoiding danger to solve a mystery about strange occurrences in their neighborhood. In Chapter 4, Lytle Creek Canyon, the kids enjoyed Clark Bars while swimming at the pool. Though the books are works of fiction, they are based on real stories from my childhood. My Uncle Charlie loved Clark Bars and he always bought us each one on a trip to Lytle Creek Canyon. (Clark Bars are still manufactured today, but I couldn’t find one for my photo). Almond Joy candy bars with their coconut goodness would have been on the dessert table at The Luau, Chapter 10.
Ferocious Fall: Our Wild Weather Escapes, is an action-packed October adventure that pits Pete and Carol Ann against lots of nasty weather and a nastier bully. In Chapter 5, Sturtevant Falls, the kids talked about a trip to their favorite local store, Crawford’s Market, where all their favorite candies could be purchased. (As a child, I loved walking to Crawford’s to buy treats!) Then they had a fun time buying snacks and candy at a local football game in Chapter 7, Ferocious Football, before scrambling around a dark parking lot looking for a network of thieves. Halloween candy and assorted treats filled up their pillowcases in Chapter 12, Hawk’s Harvest Party.
Wild Winter: Christmas, Clues, and Crooks, begins in December with Pete and Carol Ann looking for ways to help the poor people of their community while solving the mystery of their missing money. Christmas and candy go together! Eating a Peppermint Patty during the car ride to Santa’s Village in Chapter 2, Santa’s Village and the Cool Christmas Coat, would have tingled the taste buds. In Chapter 12, Christmas at the Tent, the kids delighted in Santa-filled stockings brimming with toys and their favorite candy bar treats.
I hope you enjoyed a blast to the past in my books and seeing the fabulous 1950s candy I matched to them. Go purchase a Peppermint Pattie and an assortment of 1950s candy for your very own candy adventure. Happy Valentine’s Day 2018!